A blogger tax to subsidize newspapers? With luck, no.

But you never know with those crazy guys from D.C.

Steven Brill, who ran a news media watchdog publication and is now developing a system for newspapers to charge readers for access online, said journalists should find it uncomfortable that the government is considering ways to subsidize their work.

Mr. Brill, like others who have been following the commission’s work, doubts there will be any significant policy changes recommended, in large part because there is no public appetite for government intervention to save the news media.

“You’re going to create a fund so a bunch of kids from Ivy League colleges can get jobs going to zoning board meetings with pens and pads?” he said. “It’s like you’re living on another planet if you think this is going to happen.”

Other critics have taken a free-market approach: let the market, not the government, determine what outlets survive.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “A blogger tax to subsidize newspapers? With luck, no.

  1. HG

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703890904575297082046498348.html?mod=djemRealEstate_t

    Unrelated, to your post above, but I thought this was an interesting measure of what existing health care policy has done to the earnings power of physicians in the US, with a nice real estate tie-in. Medicare price fixing + money printing = doctors can’t afford their offices.

  2. boredatwork

    Having email problems so will send this to you via the comments section.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/candidate-may-have-lied-about-heroic-death-in-viet,17600/

    Just change the name to Blumenthal…

  3. Mr. Independent

    Unfortunately for mainstream newspaper publishers, at the dawn of the Web in the early 1990’s, they did not have a clue about the Internet, and therefore lacked the foresight to see how Internet news might progress.

    Had they had such foresight, well before independent Web news sites and blogs took hold and proliferated, they would likely have pushed for changes in the copyright laws, to require sites that primarily link to their articles and commentary to pay royalties. (Imagine how much money mainstream newspapers would get if every time someone clicked to a newspaper link from Drudge or from a Google search, those sites would have to pay a 25 or 50 cent royalty to the newspaper publisher.)

    While many of us enjoy reading these free independent sites, I have often wondered if it was fair for some of them to be making millions of dollars, by searching for and then freely linking to the best stories that others paid a substantial amount paid to produce, especially when the “freeloaders” are negatively affecting paid circulation of the original media.

    Certainly, a tax is not the answer. But if at some point the NY Times, the Washington Post, and other mainstream press fold, sites like Drudge will have to begin to pay for reporting or go out of business, because there will little news to which to link.